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Translating Marketing Material in Turkish – How Is It Done?


The Turkish language and culture is very is very diverse and colorful. It is steeped in its rich history and voices every era it has seen and survived. Although, the Turkish language is spoken the same way it did centuries ago, the writing system changed with the advent of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s reign. Centuries ago, this language was written in the Arabic script, however Atatürk’s reforms, it was changed to the Latin alphabet in 1928. With that, things changed greatly for the Turkish translators.

Cheap translation services might say that Turkish translation is easy, but in reality, it takes time and dedication. There are many online translators who handle it beautifully and make sure that the translated material leaves no imperfections. However, for that, a translator needs to focus on the following:

  • Turkish has many influences from a multitude of languages including Persian, French, English and Arabic. Apart from Arabic and Persian, all of the loan words can easily identified because they similar spellings.
  • Turkish language has 29 letters, “X”, “Q” and “W” do not appear in the Turkish alphabets and are only used in the words that are loaned from another language, although it does have eight vowels that include A, I, U O, E, İ, Ü and Ö.
  • There are some words that are used heavily in marketing materials that are very similar and can only be differentiated by a circumflex. For example, the word “kâr” is used a lot in the marketing materials. It basically means “profit”, if you write it as “kar” simply becomes “snow.”
  • In Turkish, adjectives and nouns don’t have any genders, if you are translating Turkish from English, make sure that you do not put gender based pronouns like “she” and “her.”
  • Lastly, titles are very important in Turkish language. Always write “bey” for “Sir and “hanım” after a woman’s name.

A word for the wise: never use machine translation for Turkish Marketing translation. Human translation service should always be preferred because they have the resources to make sure your marketing material is translated by experienced professionals.